In the heart of WA’s goldfield’s region lies the biggest city in the Australian outback – Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Driving to Kalgoorlie is the perfect self-drive holiday, a visit to the town of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Golden Pipeline will take you approximately 600 km east of Perth. Don’t let the 6 ½ hour drive put you off, Kalgoorlie-Boulder is completely worth the trip, recognised as one of Australia’s most distinctive holiday destinations!
Begin your trip by completing a vehicle safety checklist, most importantly making sure your vehicle can hold at least 500 km worth of fuel, and can handle the rough terrain of the outback. For more information on vehicle safety and preparation see https://goldenquesttrail.com/trip-planner/road-conditions-road-safety/.
Driving to Kalgoorlie: Mundaring Weir
Once your vehicle is set, head out to the Perth Hills for your first stop, the start of the Golden Pipeline – Mundaring Weir. The weir was the reservoir that fed the pipeline at its completion in 1903. Here you can visit the No 1 Pump Station Museum to learn about the completion of the project, and the Engineer responsible – C. Y. O’Connor. After that there’s only one thing left to do: see the Golden Pipeline for yourself! The 566 kilometre long monstrosity is the longest fresh water pipeline in the world, and is still to this day responsible for supplying the Kalgoorlie Region with water.
Driving to Kalgoorlie: The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder
From Mundaring, the Great Eastern Highway will take you straight to the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder – originally the twin towns of Kalgoorlie and Boulder. The town remains practically unchanged – Kalgoorlie’s streets are still filled with the striking colonial buildings of the Gold Rush era. A must do whist you’re there is one of Kalgoorlie’s historic pubs, many of which have been open for over a century. Recommendations include the Exchange Hotel and/or Metropole Hotel Boulder, the former of which is heritage listed.
Driving to Kalgoorlie: The Western Australian Museum — Kalgoorlie-Boulder
During your trip be sure to visit The Western Australian Museum — Kalgoorlie-Boulder, which boasts the largest display of the State’s collection of gold bars and nuggets. While you’re there you’ll also learn exactly how prospectors searched for gold in some of the richest square mile of gold-bearing earth in the world.
Driving to Kalgoorlie: The Super Pit
The real attraction in Kalgoorlie-Boulder is the Super Pit; the largest open cut mine in Australia, and one of the biggest mines in the world. The Super Pit is 3.5 km long, 1.5 km wide, and 400 m deep, and it is the most visited attraction in the Goldfields. Built on the fabled ‘Golden Mile’ – what is believed to be the richest square mile on earth – the Super Pit still produces 900,000 ounces of gold each year – that’s approx. 25,515 kilograms! Grab a hardhat and take the guided tour, or visit the Super Pit Lookout for a free view of the stunning mine site.
One the drive home, if you’re up for it, check out one of the many of the ghost towns surrounding Kalgoorlie-Boulder. These deserted places preserve the remains of abandoned, believed to be haunted, mining towns. Alternatively, if the ghost towns aren’t for you, then enjoy WA’s stunning wildflowers by driving home via the Goldfield’s Wildflower Trail. Flowers in bloom (season: August – October) can be seen from the roadside, but check out local visitors centres for directions to find more species just a little further off the beaten track.
If you do fancy a driving break, but you’re not sure if you car has the ‘legs’ or the space you need, you can always call us. Car hire isn’t just for interstate, or international visitors. For car hire in Perth, ask the company that knows Perth best, Northside Rentals.